Decorating the Garden for Halloween

It’s taken us longer than usual to decorate for Halloween this year, in part due to the weather. Early October was too darn hot. Now that the temps are dropping, we’ve put in a bit more effort. I call it sweater weather.

pumpkin pyramid

Pumpkin Pyramid

My family’s taste in decorating run the gamut. I’ve always enjoyed using pumpkins, fall leaves and the occasional prop outdoors. My husband is all about the lights and the carving. My youngest son is a huge fan of inflatable lawn decorations. He loved balloons as a little boy, and that love transferred to anything he can inflate.

The lawn inflatables are pretty over the top as decorations go, but they bring him such joy. He was happy to use his Christmas money over the years to buy them. He learned a lot about saving, price comparisons and finding things on sale, so lessons garnered along the way.

halloween inflatables 2014

Halloween Inflatables

This year one of the fans broke so he spent time sorting out an alternative way to inflate it. He tried two smaller fans, then hooked up a tube from a larger fan and improvised with items from his room. He found joy in the process. I was equally joyful seeing him set aside his iPhone while he problem-solved. Eventually he and his dad found a replacement fan on-line and the Halloween globe is back in business. Is it silly of me to say that I’m glad it broke, if only to get a glimpse at his unique creativity?

Eclectic Pumpkins

Eclectic Pumpkins

No-Candy Countdown:

It’s the week of Halloween, meaning the candy-pushers have stepped up their game. There was a bucket of candy on the optometrist’s counter yesterday, candy on the end-caps at Target and candy on my mind. One of the best things about tracking what you don’t eat is the awareness and clarity. Candy seems like a special reward or indulgence, but it also feels like an addiction. I don’t know if I can indulge casually or if I need to give it up for good. It’s food for thought.

Pumpkins on Parade:

sweater pumpkin

Sweater Pumpkin

Getting back to sweater weather, today’s pumpkin is toasty warm in a Jack ‘o Lantern knit. They’re all the rage this year. Pumpkins are thick-skinned so itching isn’t a problem. One size fits most.

What’s on your agenda for Halloween week?

Transforming the Garden: Mad for Inflatables

We’re used to seeing cars slow down in front of our house this time of year.  Either the driver is smiling, because they love Halloween as much as we do, or they’re shaking their heads thinking “those people are over the top!”

My youngest son has been a fan of inflatables for as long as I can remember.  He used to spend hours at the computer during the winter months, bookmarking page after page of inflatable decorations.  He printed his favorites, and pasted them in a book.  Every year we visit a local “parking lot patch” where he gleefully enjoys the enormous inflatable slides, bounce houses and the occasional obstacle course.  One year he received fifty dollars for Christmas from one of his uncles, enough to buy a holiday inflatable at 50% off. And so it began.

inflatable cat and spider

Inflatable spider with moving head and his trusty kitty side-kick

My son saves his allowance and the occasional cash gift and “invests” in his inflatable treasures.  Each inflatable has a story to go with it.  The monstrous cat purchased at a discontinued price, hidden in the back yard until Halloween night so he could surprise everyone.  The creepy spider, bought online with an annoying whistle whenever it turns its head.  Finally, the pièce de résistance, the inflatable archway, complete with ghosts and tombstones. By the time we saw it in a party store they were sold out.  The store agreed to sell us the floor model for, you guessed it, half off.  I paid for half, he paid the rest.

Inflatable archway

Through wind and sleet and Halloween decor, the mail carrier still delivers

My way of decorating before having children was more subtle.  I would put out a pumpkin or two, a few fall plants and call it a day.  Not any more.  As my son ages, he wants everything a little scarier.  By Halloween night we’ll have a spider with a moveable head, the enormous cat and the lighted entryway.  He’ll stretch spider webbing from shrub to tree and my husband will add lights to the awning. The webbing catches falling Magnolia leaves, that twist and turn in the wind.  We toss plastic spiders at the web for a naturalized effect and by October 31st we’re looking downright spooky.

Rocking chair ghost

Rocking chair all dressed up

Our garden, transformed.

Halloween Countdown

I'm a Mac Pumpkin

I’m a Mac Pumpkin